#2019 Make Nine : : I Am Libellule Coat : : I Am Patterns

Hallo you.

And hallo October.

I like autumn. I have it ranked at a respectable No 2. I like the crisp air and the brilliant foliage. Ermmm…I also love the food. Pumpkin, chard, squash, apples, grapes, pears….all of ’em. 

Another big plus about this season is that, for me, it’s prime me-made coat season.  I prefer sewing/wearing light to medium weight fabrications….my me-made coats are never super insulating. They’re cozy, but not usually cozy enough for winter cold.

Which brings me to my current make, my Libellule Coat.

This is my first time sewing an I Am Patterns pattern. It can be sewn either as a dress, top, jacket or coat. I was drawn to the pattern because I was specifically looking for a coat pattern that would work well with this bold striped blue and white fabric.  I wanted a fairly simple silhouette with single piece set in sleeves. I find two piece sleeves can make stripes matching difficult, if not impossible. The Libellule Coat ticks all the boxes. I made mine with 100% cotton medium weight fabric, lined with bemberg rayon. Both fabric and lining are from my dwindling….yes, that is a good thing…fabric stash.

Pattern instructions are more minimal than many Indie Pattern companies….six steps, including cutting fabric. That isn’t a reason to fear the pattern though…there aren’t a lot of pattern pieces and they all went together as they should. I had a bit of a snaggle with the sizing. It is suggested to make a size larger for the coat version, but my end result or…mid-way result…was a fit a bit too generous for comfort.  My quick fix was to make the right front bodice (collar too) an inch narrower than the pattern specs. And. It works. I can wear it with a t-shirt underneath, or an additional sweater layer.

A Colourful Canvas, I Am Libellule Coat, I Am Patterns, Vancouver Blogger, Vancouver Sewing Blog

The shoulders extend slightly past my natural shoulder and I used 1/2″ shoulder pads. Yes, shoulder pads….it is the nineties….isn’t it?

A Colourful Canvas, I Am Libellule Coat, I Am Patterns, Vancouver Blogger, Vancouver Sewing Blog

A breeze and a twirl fully ignited the volume on my coat.

A Colourful Canvas, I Am Libellule Coat, I Am Patterns, Vancouver Blogger, Vancouver Sewing Blog

The sleeves have a deep cuff and I intentionally mismatched the bands of blue and white. I wanted it to be apparent where the cuff attached to the sleeve. Cuffs can be turned up as an option.

A Colourful Canvas, I Am Libellule Coat, I Am Patterns, Vancouver Blogger, Vancouver Sewing Blog

The Libellule Coat is an A-Line shape and as a result, the hemline is slightly curved and it gave me some minor grief. I pinned the hem several ways…over several weeks {it was summer; I wasn’t in a hurry}. When I pinned the hem evenly along a stripe, the finished look was a bit like a handkerchief hem, drooping at the sides. When I pinned the hem along the original hemline, it looked uneven, even though it was even. In the end, I opted for a very slightly high-low hem and I think it works.

A Colourful Canvas, I Am Libellule Coat, I Am Patterns, Vancouver Blogger, Vancouver Sewing Blog

A Colourful Canvas, I Am Libellule Coat, I Am Patterns, Vancouver Blogger, Vancouver Sewing Blog

My coat has a full lining but please note that the pattern does not come with instructions or pattern pieces for either a lining or neckline facings….it’s a versatile dress/coat pattern so some construction techniques are simplified, ie; the front facings and button placket are extensions of the coat front pieces and folded into place.

I cut out the lining front using the main front pattern piece, taking into account the fold-over facing. I cut out the back lining using the back main pattern piece placed 1″ away from the fold. This gives the lining a bit of extra ease. I drafted a back neckline facing and a front neckline facing out of outer fabric using the front/back pattern pieces as guides.

I made one other small change in construction and that was to stitch together the buttonhole facing and the self-facing below the last buttonhole. That way I was able to trim away some of the bulk at the hemline.

A Colourful Canvas, I Am Libellule Coat, I Am Patterns, Vancouver Blogger, Vancouver Sewing Blog

I went with plain white buttons for the hidden button placket, and a vintage blue button at the collar. The collar buttonhole is a bound one, the others are regular.

I used a lightweight fusible interfacing on the front button plackets and self-facings, the collar, the neckline facings and on the sleeve cuffs.

So. To sum up. I didn’t make a lot of changes…not so much changes as additions; interfacing and lining. I will consider sewing this pattern again…I’d like to try it with either a plain fabric or an all-over print; that way I can easily do the intended straight hem. I’m thinking that I might change the collar to a flat collar instead of the stand-up collar…um….and welt pockets would be da bomb too, but I’m getting ahead of myself. 

This coat knocks off another of my 2019 Make Nine projects. I gotta tell ya….I. Am. Slow. I’ve completed just four of the nine so far. To date, I’ve only blogged this make and my London Backpack, which by the way is freakin’ fantastic. I use it all the time. Even though I haven’t fired through my list, I still feel that the #makenine challenge has been good for me. My primary intentions were to sew garments using stash fabrics and I’ve made a huge, huge, dent in my pile. But. I admit I’m getting close to a point of losing enthusiasm for sewing my remaining fabrics. It’s entirely possible that I may not finish my make nine and opt to keep my remaining small stash of fabric for pattern testing or for a future change of heart.

I’ve already begun musing on what direction to go in next.  I don’t want to rush out and buy a bunch of fabric….good thing dat.  As discussions about sustainability in sewing continue to dominate, I’m moving towards a more curated wardrobe. Does that mean less sewing? More involved projects? Techniques that require more time? More environmentally friendly fabrics? 

Sewing is my creative expression and I wear that badge proudly. Still…here I am in the early stages of trying to figure out how to retain my creative voice and still love my planet.  Are any of you thinking along the same lines…wanting to leave a smaller footprint but still needing to create? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments, or feel free to send me an email privately.

Wearing : :

Libellule Coat : : I Am Patterns

Sasha Trousers : : Closet Case Patterns Also seen here and here

Jeanne T-shirt : : Ready To Sew Also seen here


  • Reply Vancouver Barbara October 14, 2019 at 8:42 pm

    I love your new coat. You did a great job and it looks smashing on you. Brava!

    • Reply Sue October 14, 2019 at 10:36 pm

      Hi Barbara!!

      So nice to hear from you…this coat has been on my to-do list for a long while and I’m breathing a sigh of relief that it’s done! It took more time to think about sewing it than the actual sewing. I am pleased with the finished product, thank goodness! 🙂

  • Reply Sherry Dryja October 15, 2019 at 10:52 am

    This coat is “da bomb,” as the kids said a couple of generations ago. (My urban slang is only so current.) But your coat really is fabulous. It has a cinematic quality, as in, it looks like something you’d see in a classic film (preferably French, possibly black and white to show off the contrast of the stripes). Those bold stripes make me swoon with happy jealousy.

    As for sustainable sewing, even as a newbie I’m thinking a lot about this. I forgive some of my new fabric purchases, holding up my newbie card as a reason for needing to work with fabrics that, 1) I know will work with my project, and/or 2) that I can repurchase if I totally mess up my first attempts.

    The cloud of climate change and sustainability continue to hover, though, so I spend a lot of time perusing vintage fabric on Etsy. I’ve found a seller who describes her fabrics beautifully so I tend to know what I’m getting before I touch it. Sometimes, though, vintage is out of my price range and that’s when I start looking around the house to see what fabrics I can turn into things I can wear. 🙂 But as I said, I do still buy new fabric, so it’s not like I’ve stripped the couch of its upholstery yet. I would love to hear how others approach this issue, so thank you for raising it here!


    • Reply Sue October 15, 2019 at 11:24 am

      Wot? Da bomb isn’t current lingo? 🙂

      I think the fact that we are thinking about our impact environmentally is a great first step. I recently read, ‘Overdressed: The shockingly high cost of cheap fashion’ and it got me thinking, re-thinking (over-thinking?) everything. I don’t buy fast fashion as a rule, but there was a section in the book relating to thrift store donations and how they have to throw out so much of what they receive. So. Passing less loved makes on to the thrift stores isn’t necessarily the easy answer I thought it was. I think it’s part of why I want to be more mindful of what I make in the first place. Sure…sometimes a garment ends up being a fail; it can’t be helped and we learn from our experience. And yes, we do have some fabric scraps although I am really, really trying to use up what fabric I can. Step by baby step, yes?

      Good thing the couch is intact chez Petite Over 40.

  • Reply Vix October 15, 2019 at 10:58 am

    I love that coat, Sue, it’s got a great 1960s vibe going on. You are a genius! xx

    • Reply Sue October 15, 2019 at 11:25 am

      Thanks Vix. I am finding myself more and more drawn to design elements from the 60’s. Trying to re-rock my childhood adult style!

  • Reply Suzanne October 15, 2019 at 2:07 pm

    This turned out so cute!

    Sustainable living and creating is utmost on my mind. I wish now that big business would get behind the rest of the population.


    • Reply Sue October 16, 2019 at 8:55 am

      Thanks Suzanne!

      A sewing community centered blog has just posted about sustainability sewing resources. I’m about to head over and check it out. Maybe the tide changing…individuals doing their best…will trickle up to big business?

  • Reply No Fear of Fashion October 16, 2019 at 10:40 pm

    I think you did a terrific job on this coat. The “minor” tweeks you talk about are major things in my book.
    It is understandable that the remaining fabric might not appeal to you that much anymore. You used the best stuff first of course.
    As for sustainability… sigh.. yes, it is on my mind a lot and I am trying to change my ways even more. As my creativity lies in creating outfits, I have a big challenge. Michelle Tyler, a blogger who moved to the USA, is renting designer clothes now. That would be IT for me but we don’t have that in my country.

    • Reply Sue October 17, 2019 at 12:42 pm

      Thank you Greetje.

      LOL, it’s true…I’ve been picking the cream of the crop. I am happy to report, however, that I have just gained renewed enthusiasm for a few pieces in my stash…going so far as to know what patterns I will be using. They are a denim and a ponte, so well suited for fall and winter too!

      I know you are a busy person, but I wonder if between you and some of your friends, you could initiate a clothing rental cooperative if that is where your heart might be? I’d be terrified of damaging clothing if I were renting. I imagine there is some sort of contingency for that though….

      • Reply No Fear of Fashion November 21, 2019 at 12:50 am

        I think The Netherlands is too small to start a business in designer clothes. Plus… I am not an entrepreneurial person. Too scared.

        • Reply Sue December 12, 2019 at 10:01 pm

          Sorry I missed seeing your reply Greetje.
          I too think that entrepreneurs are brave…there are risks involved when it comes to creating and maintaining a successful business. I envy their ability to ‘go for it’.

  • Reply Kelly Anorak Closet Case Patterns Winter Wardrobe August 3, 2022 at 3:43 pm

    […] Let me take you back…way back to last October when I wrote this […]

  • Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.